First Footage from the Digital Bolex D16 After Final Sensor Calibration

by steven schwartz1 Comment

With so many new video camera announcements, can Elle and Joe at Digital Bolex cut through the noise? This post over at Digital Bolex gives a glimpse of what may make this new cam one-of-a-kind. These first few frame grabs and a short test with their first sensor-calibrated model (incidentally named “Derek”) look very impressive. What appears to be going on over at Digital Bolex is a quest for a unique and beautiful cinematic “look” that can't be quantified by the bare numbers (sensor size, ISO, dynamic range, global shutter) and if they're successful, will venture into purely aesthetic territory at a rock-bottom price point. Time will tell, we can't wait to see clips from a working production model.

First Footage from the Digital Bolex D16 After Final Sensor Calibration

From the Digital Bolex Team:

This test was shot with the 50mm Zeiss CP2 set at f4 and f2.8, two Kinos, an LED ring light, and an ARRI 1200w HMI. The camera was set at 100 ISO. We used our SmallHD monitor patched through to a 20″ computer monitor facing the subjects so people in front of the camera could see what they looked like while we were filming them. The calibration on the camera is now spot on! The DNG files are exactly where we expected them to be exposure wise. And the colors were beautiful with no correction at all! All in all the test was a success.

[tentblogger-vimeo 75650410]

The footage above is basically ungraded, which means that when you shoot footage with the D16, that’s the way it’s going to open up in post. You’ll still have all of the information there since this is RAW footage, but this is the way they have calibrated the sensor to look. I think what this test also does is put to rest any worries about sharpness with the footage, because they were using the excellent CP2s from Zeiss, which should resolve all of the resolution the sensor is producing.

Venice Beach Breakdance D16 Digital Bolex by Kurt Lancaster

Kurt Lancaster also shot a documentary piece with the D16 to see if the camera could be used easily in that kind of situation (this, along with everything else shown up until the Portraits video above, was with the unfinished calibration of the sensors): [tentblogger-vimeo 74887302]

With older lenses and a more film-like grade, it’s remarkable how similar the footage can look to older 16mm or Super 16mm footage. If you need it to look sharp and clean, the footage at the top of the page shows it’s very possible, but if you are tired of the digital “look” that many cameras can give, some older lenses and a bit of grading can give you something that feels far more organic.

[ Via Digital Bolex ] (cover photo credit: snap from the video) Does this new camera look like one you'd like to add to your kit? Let others know by clicking on the link to the Forums below.


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